This is by far the best Children's storybook Bible I've come by. Finally, we hear the stories paraphrased as Jesus would speak them. Many Children's r...moreThis is by far the best Children's storybook Bible I've come by. Finally, we hear the stories paraphrased as Jesus would speak them. Many Children's resources tell the biblical stories through a platonic lens with "hope" being some kind of non-bodied existence somewhere else (not here). Jesus' teaching goes the other direction and Tutu's paraphrase helps us see that hope is born through compassion and is rooted in this time and place. "May your kingdom come," Jesus said. (less)
Whose voice can help us pay better attention to Jesus and the restoration that Jesus brings? I think Dallas Willard sits well on the list.
I've been an...moreWhose voice can help us pay better attention to Jesus and the restoration that Jesus brings? I think Dallas Willard sits well on the list.
I've been an appreciative reader of Willard for a few years now and had the privilege to meet him at an event in Wichita, KS. There in passing, he held the door for me and in slight hallway conversation I saw a thin glimpse of this man being in his core what his writings try to bring about in others.
As others have said, there is something about Dallas Willard that is truly alive and there's something about his writing that connects the words of Jesus even more firmly to the disciple.
_Living In Christ's Presence_ is an overview book, a glimpse of Willard's best writing. I'd recommend it to anyone as a first to read from Willard and more than that, to anyone reading the words of Jesus and wondering why those words feel so new, so alive to them, as if such things had rarely been heard in their church community.
Yes, I remember reading the Gospel of John one summer and "coming-to" as they say. "Who IS this guy, this Jesus?!" I said, putting the Gospel down in my lap, "This guy, taken with his words just as they are, not dissected is talking about something that hasn't been a very strong part of my religious experience to date. ...the way he talks about obedience, faith, ... he's talking about something unfolding in the present, something that will extend into the future."
Willard (with co-author and conversation partner John Ortberg) helps us explore this Jesus, this raw from-the-Gospels Jesus. What we discover, as Willard points up and to the right, whispering, "Look there," is that the Gospel is a much thicker good news than many of us had heard. The Gospel is the "good news of the kingdom of God," (Mk. 1:15) which includes forgiveness of sin, redemption, and the renovation of all creation -- and it's all unfolding in the present-tense, not something we just long for, but something we work within even as we hope for it.
And as this great news unfolds, we're awakened to participate. Our work will echo Jesus' work, his ministry. "Jesus did three things in his own ministry: proclaim the availability of the kingdom of God to everyone, regardless of their standing in life; teach what it was like; and manifest its presence in events that could not be explained in a natural way" (p.70).
Here are a few more of my favorite quotes:
"...grace--God acting in your life" (p.9). [About defining "grace"]
"...it's [the Great Commission] about a world revolution" (p. 11).
"To be in the yoke with Christ is to pull his load with him. What is his load? It is to bring the reign of God into ordinary human life" (p. 15).
"There is nothing wrong with the church that discipleship will not cure" (p.16).
"Making disciples is a matter of pulling people, of drawing them in through who we are and what we say" (p.17). [The Christian so grasped by Grace becomes "light in the world" as Jesus puts it, even as Jesus is light in and for the world.]
"A disciple is someone who is learning by going though the process of change" (p.19).
"What do the pastors and other spokespersons for Christ do? They bring the life of the kingdom to other people. They bring that life in themselves" (p.19).
"Pastors and spokespersons for Christ exemplify eternal living and bring it to bear on everything around them. Eternal life is the life we have now, because our life is caught up in God's live" (p.20).
"John 17:3 is one of the most important verses to understand: 'And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent' (NRSV). Now, this knowing is not doctrinal knowledge; it's a living interaction with God, with his Son and with his Spirit" (p.20).
"When we present the gospel through our life and our teaching of what Jesus preached, as life now available in the kingdom of God, we see people respond" (p.21).
"Put [Jesus'] words into practice and find them to be true" (p.31).
"Authentic transformation is possible if we are willing to do one thing and that is to arrange our lives around the kind of practices and life that Jesus led to be constantly receiving power and love from the Father" (p.42).
"If you had to summarize in a single phrase the gospel that Jesus preached, it would be 'the kingdom of God'...What was new with Jesus was that the kingdom of God had become available for human beings to enter and live in...the kingdom of God is now available" (p.52).
"Jesus came as the kingdom bringer. His gospel was the availability of the kingdom [of God]" (p.55).
"...study Christ and make him what fills our mind" (p.77).
'...the progression into the kingdom if coming to believe what [Jesus] believes, coming to trust it, to live on it, to act on it, to make it count. We do that by fixing our minds on him" (p.79).
"The main thing you bring to the church is the person that you become, and that's what everybody will see, that's what you'll get reproduced; that's what people will believe. Arrange your life so that you are experiencing deep contentment, joy, and confidence in your everyday life with God" (p.106).
"You don't save souls; you save people" (p.121).
"Discipleship is simply the reception of grace, and receiving grace is simply what discipleship consists of" (p.142, quoting Dietrich Bonhoeffer's _The Cost of Discipleship_).
"Blessing is the projection of good into the life of another" (p.164).
I suggest you find a copy and read it for yourself. And even better, read Jesus direct. Get into the Gospels and just read. Read Willard after that, maybe during that, and come to see that "the righteous will live by faith" truly means something about the life God brings into the depths of our being, a life that's actually lived in our forgiven, beloved selves.(less)
Wonderful. This was a peaceful read. It felt like being shown the American landscape before it was littered and flagged with telephone poles. That's a...moreWonderful. This was a peaceful read. It felt like being shown the American landscape before it was littered and flagged with telephone poles. That's a gift Frost had, I believe - to take you to a scene so vividly and with such simplicity that the next night's dreams were set there.
My favorite collection: Mountain Interval. I also enjoyed Frost's shorter poems more than the longer (often) narrative works. I liked reading a bit and then imaginatively resting there in the moment. Frost poetically created these moments *ex nihilo* within my the depths of my being.(less)
I opened the cover to learn a few things, some inner workings of poetry from someone who knows what she's talki...moreA joy to read! What an unexpected joy.
I opened the cover to learn a few things, some inner workings of poetry from someone who knows what she's talking about, I'd heard.
This science book of poetry with its categories and definitions was not a dissection process. It was a guided observation and Oliver was pointing out the details, the unnoticed beauties to me a novice as we watched these poems out in the wild.(less)
Started reading this one a little before 2014 began. I've been marking it up, making it "my own" as they say. I don't read the note section often. Too...moreStarted reading this one a little before 2014 began. I've been marking it up, making it "my own" as they say. I don't read the note section often. Too many times I've had a question and looked for a note and there wasn't a word about it. Other times, because the space is limited, answers were too trite for what I felt was more complex. But, that's the nature of a study Bible like this. You get a little and that'll have to do till you get to the library. (less)
I've been reading this day book off and on for a couple months now, enjoying each 4-5 paragraph reading. My hope in reading has been to see what made...moreI've been reading this day book off and on for a couple months now, enjoying each 4-5 paragraph reading. My hope in reading has been to see what made Merton who he was in the ordinary. I've read and been captivated by several of Merton's books now and each book has a handful of sentences that extend beyond a normal person's spiritual experience. As I read, I feel myself pulled into something new, something living.
In _A Year with Thomas Merton_ I have the privelge to see the "normal" Thomas Merton. The days are journal entries, small pictures and captured moments of an ordinary, lived spiritual life.
Of course, where else it is supposed to be lived? ...and that's the point, that's the gift this book offers. It pulls us down from the esoteric spirituality philosopies and into the back yard garden soil. As I read these daily journal entries (compiled into this day book many years later by some other person), there's a permission that's given to re-enter the ordinary and there discover the Presence of Christ.
A delightful collection of short poems, short enough to introduce you to the dogs Oliver writes about. Then, once you're introduced, you just watch th...moreA delightful collection of short poems, short enough to introduce you to the dogs Oliver writes about. Then, once you're introduced, you just watch them play or lay or remind you of a trait that is strikingly similar to yourself.
"...don't worry. I know how the old life haunts the new." - Benjamin, Who Came from Who Knows Where(less)
A clip of Nouwen mixed with a Redemptorist written prayer and idea for action - a simple way to engage the heart, priming the inner person toward the...moreA clip of Nouwen mixed with a Redemptorist written prayer and idea for action - a simple way to engage the heart, priming the inner person toward the depths of Advent's meaning.
I read this sparingly this hear, a little now and then. It was the ideas for action that captivated me most this time around. (less)
This is an accessible rendering of The Brothers - a delight to read.
And of course, the story is captivating - mostly so for me when the family and th...moreThis is an accessible rendering of The Brothers - a delight to read.
And of course, the story is captivating - mostly so for me when the family and their communities clash with spiritual matters. It's here that Dostoevsky is a joy to read. He has a gift for weaving elements of spiritual wrestling into the frame of a story in a way that doesn't feel forced, hollow or cliche.
Redemption is possible and suffering is often the path to that end. Can we forgive and love? Can we see ourselves as beautiful even though our filth, yet see with eyes freed from pride or loathing? That is a piece of redemption. (less)
Presence is an art. It can't be forced, it can't be graded, it simply has to come out and become what it is.
Nouwen's The Wounded Healer is a conversa...morePresence is an art. It can't be forced, it can't be graded, it simply has to come out and become what it is.
Nouwen's The Wounded Healer is a conversation in being present. I felt him say that this art of being present is kindled by living and owning our own story, our story riddled with brokenness. So often we hear that we shouldn't show our faults, our struggles. And for the many who desire to draw a crowd around themselves (or something called "their ministry"), showing fault and struggle doesn't seem promising toward their desire's fulfillment. So they hide what is real in order to measure some sense of "success" in standards that have nothing to do with Jesus.
Nouwen, on the other hand, invites us into a deep wisdom, a life to be shared. Instead of attracting people who are then used to make ourselves look impressive, Nouwen encourages the way of Jesus which is quite unimpressive, yet profoundly present, profoundly alive, and profoundly able to be with others as we share the reality that we are broken and long for great healing.(less)