Sunday, November 13, 2011

Who's your guide?

Thomas Merton wrote, "The most dangerous man in the world is the contemplative who is guided by nobody. He trusts his own visions. He obeys the attraction of an interior voice but will not listen to other men. He identifies the will of God with anything that makes him feel, within his own heart, a big, warm, sweet interior glow...such a man can wreck a whole city, or even a nation" (New Seeds of Contemplation).

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans Day prayer

Lord of hosts, quiet heroes surround us. They are our doctors, our letter carriers, our machinists, our accountants, our co-workers, our fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, our neighbors and our best friends. Under their civilian attire beats hearts that will for a lifetime be proudly wrapped in the uniforms of the United States Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. We honor their service and do not take lightly the sacrifices they have made to secure freedom from tyranny, fear and oppression. These heroes quietly carry with them the memories of those who did not return home. We owe them our gratitude, and ask You to bless them and their loved ones. This we pray, in Your strong and mighty Name, Amen.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

the GLORY of God

I’ve always seen the word “glory” as a mere superlative, without understanding its implications.

Eugene Peterson says that “glory” is a large word in our Scriptures, radiating the many dimensions of God’s grandeur, brightness, effulgence, and illuminating everything around it.”

Middle Eastern scholar Kenneth Bailey defines the word: “Behind the Greek word doxa (glory) is the Hebrew word kabod (weight). In Middle Eastern culture, a “weighty” person has to do with wisdom, balance, stability, reliability, second judgment, patience, impartiality, nobility, substance, and the like. Latin has preserved these ideas and attached them to the word gravitas. Glory has to do with gravitas! It’s not about us, it’s about God’s glory.”

Gravitas is a recently popular word, which we often use to describe candidates and politicians who appear to be people of substance.

The Westminster Confession opens with a question: “What is the chief end of man? To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” This seems to coincide with I Cor 10:31, “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

I worked at a Christian camp in North Carolina that quoted that verse nearly every day, at every meal; it was their defining statement. I was hiking to a waterfall and a teenager asked me how that played out in day-to-day life, not a simple question. I suggested that our enjoyment of God’s creation pleases and thus glorifies Him, and when we choose to stop living for self and live for God, this too brings Him glory. John Piper observed, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.”

But God has glory even if we don’t acknowledge Him. C.S. Lewis wrote, “A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word “darkness” on the walls of his cell.”

Finally, another of my favorite authors, Madeline L’Engle posed the challenging question: “What did I do today that might have given God pleasure?

Monday, November 7, 2011


"Once we concede the assumption that is the citizens who arbitrarily determine what is right and wrong, we have cut ourselves adrift in a sea of relativism." –Jim Peterson

"If there are no absolutes by which to judge society, then society is absolute." –Francis Schaeffer

"The key question isn’t 'Is it ever OK to steal?' but 'Is it ever not wrong to steal?' If there is no absolute truth, then the matter of stealing doesn’t matter...unless someone’s stealing from you, though it’s a good deal for the thief." -RGL

"We are moving towards a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as for certain and which has as its highest goal one’s own ego and one’s own desires." -Pope Benedict XVI

"In the act of destroying the idea of Diving authority we have largely destroyed the idea of human authority." –G.K. Chesterton