Friday, May 21, 2010

Some dreams are far too small to hold the soul
Like "My life, my land, my money, my family, my country."
Justin McRoberts. America and the Soul.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Let my soul rejoice in Thy mysterious greatness. Let me take refuge in the thought that Thou art utterly beyond me, beyond the sweep of my imagination, beyond the comprehension of my mind, Thy judgments being unsearchable and They ways past finding out.
John Baillie. A DIARY OF PRIVATE PRAYER. Seventeenth day. Morning.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The purpose of the blue note in jazz is to give voice to pain. There are three blue notes: flatted 3rd, flatted 5th and flatted 7th. Bluest of the blue notes is the flatted 5th. Miles Davis perfected it. It is the note that when heard on its own creates dissonance. It resists resolve and in doing so it also awakens us to our own shattered hopes and dreams. This is part of its charm. It disorients and sometimes irritates, but when blended with the larger score, it gives voice to the longing for healing that is associated with pain. Kathleen O' Connor said, "The first condition for healing is to bring the pain and suffering into view."

Of course, the first condition of healing is not the final condition of healing. To give voice to pain is to run the risk of getting stuck there. We can easily become defined by our own wounds and go about the business of wounding ourselves and others accordingly. However, to deny the blue note is to suffer the same fate. Denial of pain is a dangerous as getting stuck in it. Both lead to violence. The Gospel assures us that there is a way forward but it is always the way of the wound.
Kris Rocke. Center for Transforming Mission.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

... I think life is staggering and we're just used to it. We all are like spoiled children no longer impressed with the gifts we're given...
Idolatry is marked by the will to use God for our purposes.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Self-efficacy is the perception we have of our ability to reach a goal. It's our confidence regarding whether we can succeed at a particular task. A great deal of research supports the premise that a leader's level of confidence in accomplishing what he or she sets out to do will critically determine the outcome.... Without a strong sense of self-efficacy, a leader will avoid challenges and give up easily when confronted with setbacks.
As simple as it may sound, both work and rest are commanded by God, and to do one to the exclusion of the other takes us into the realm of sin. We must do both and do both faithfully or we are not truly obeying our King. Second, in order to love His Bride, our Lord Jesus Christ left His glory, His dwelling in heaven, His place of utter perfection and delight in union with His Father and the Spirit. Therefore, in order to love my wife as Christ loves the Church, I must discern what is to me “glory” and leave it regularly in order to love [my wife]. Frankly, ministry is my glory. Third, Jesus left His glory not for that which was attractive within us to Him. Rather, He left His glory for that which was repulsive in us to Him. My wife should sense that I am willingly leaving the most glorious portions of life for me for her in her deepest weakness, most frightening struggle with what she suspects is repulsive to me.

In terms of ministry, we have learned that when we give out of resources that we do not have, then it is not sacrifice but lack of wisdom, if not actual folly. [We] have often pushed ourselves beyond the limits of health because of the demands of ministry and have gone to the margins of well-being and beyond. This actually becomes a kind of dishonesty, for inside we are feeling a sense of emptiness and disquiet as we meet with individuals who are deeply hurting, and at times actually fight resentment and distraction within while we are sitting with them without, and are dishonest about how embattled and empty we are feeling.
A Pastor reflecting on what he is learning after decades in ministry