Archive for September, 2008

The Pilgrim’s Tale (or The Way of a Pilgrim) is a Russian folk story that originated in the nineteenth century. It is a powerful story in the orthodox tradition and it explores the value of the Jesus prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner”. In this case we shall be studying the first section of this work.

The Pilgrim’s Tale is the story of a man seeking how he can live a biblical life. Specifically, he wants to know how he can pray without ceasing, as the author of the Epistle to the Thessalonians instructs. (more…)


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“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always to the very end of the age.”

We are to share Christ with all the world. That doesn’t mean that I personally must tell every person on the earth about Jesus (although that would be really cool if I could). Rather, it means that I am responsible for sharing Jesus with the world I interact with everyday.

I need to be an example of Jesus to the kids at youth group on Wednesdays. I need to be an example of Jesus to the people I sit around at work. I need to be an example of Jesus to the people in my various fantasy football leagues. I need to be an example of Jesus at the restaurants and coffee shops at which I spend time. I need to be an example of Jesus to the people at church. I need to be an example of Jesus to the people with whom I golf, play softball, or workout. I need to be an example of Jesus to the people I sit next to at the basketball game (and the referees officiating). I need to be an example of Jesus to the people I walk past at the library, or on the street. I need to be an example of Jesus to my kids, and the neighborhood kids. I need to be an example of Jesus to my neighbors.

The first impression of Jesus many people will have is the impression we give them.

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A Prayer

Provider God,

May your name be praised throughout the earth. May the world be transformed to be more like your kingdom. May your will be done by all who call upon your name. May we listen to your desires and follow your leading. May we be obedient to your direction. Keep us from our selfish desires. Soften our hearts and enable us to forgive. Clean us of all bitterness, anger and deceit. Please provide for our needs and let us be satisfied in your provisioning. Keep us from our destructive habits and build up constructive, Christ-centered, holy habits in our lives. The earth is a part of your kingdom and we are your subjects. You are all powerful and we ask that you allow us to minister to others. You are glorious forever. Reveal your glory to us today.

Kyrie, eleison.
Christe, eleison.
Kyrie, eleison.

Gloria in excelsis Deo,
et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis.
Laudamus te. Benedicimus te.
Adoramus te. Glorificamus te.
Gratias agimus tibi propter magnam gloriam tuam.
Domine Deus, Rex coelestis,
Deus Pater omnipotens,
Domine Fili unigenite, Iesu Christe;
Domine Deus, Agnus Dei, Filius Patris;
qui tollis peccata mundi,
miserere nobis;
qui tollis peccata mundi,
suscipe deprecationem nostrum;
qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
miserere nobis.
Quoniam tu solus Sanctus,
tu colus Dominus,
tu solus Altissimus, Iesu Christe.
Cum Sancto Spiritu in gloria Dei Patris.

Credo in unum Deum, Patrem omnipotentem, factorem coeli et terrae, visibilium omnium, et invisibilium.
Et in unum Dominum Iesum Christum Filium Dei unigenitum.
Et ex Patre natum ante omnia saecula.
Deum de Deo, lumen de lumine, Deum verum de Deo vero.
Genitum, non factum, consubstantialem Patri: per quem onmia facta sunt.
Qui propter nos homines et propter nostram salutem descendit de coelis.
Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine:
et homo factus est.
Crucifixus etiam pro nobis: sub Pontio Pilato passus, et sepultus est.
Et resurrexit tertia die, secundum Scripturas.
Et ascendit in coelum: sedet ad dexteram Patris.
Et iterum venturus est cum gloria judicare vivos et mortuos:
cujus regni non erit finis.
Et in Spiritum Sanctum, Dominum et vivificantem:
qui ex Patre Filioque procedit.
Qui cum Patre et Filio simul adoratur et conglorificatur:
qui locutus est per Prophetas.
Et unam sanctam catholicam et apostlicam Ecclesiam.
Confiteor unum baptisma in remissionem peccatorum.
Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum.
Et vitam venturi saeculi. Amen.

Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus Dominus Deus Sabaoth:
Pleni sunt caeli et terra gloria tua.
Hosanna in excelsis.
Benedictus quit venit in nomine Domini:
Hosanna in excelsis.

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, dona nobis pacem.

Thank you God. Amen.

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Weekly Meanderings

Here’s some stuff I came across this week…

1. John Frye reviews “Leaving Church: a Memoir of Faith” by Barbara Brown Taylor (a great book).
2. Noah’s Ark?
3. Pastoral endorsements of political candidates.
4. Younger evangelicals and Sarah Palin.
5. I love Joe Biden but this week…I just don’t know what he was thinking.
6. One of many recent articles on the possibility of an electoral college tie.
7. The benefits of therapy in lieu of drugs for struggling youth.
8. College life and depression.
9. An old article on Tim Tebow declining to be included in the Playboy All-American team.
10. A post on the dolphins wildcat formation from last Sunday.
11. How the Yankees destroyed their farm system.
12. An ebb in the solar winds.
13. An excellent post on society’s acceptance of breastfeeding.

David Foster Wallace’s death caused me to look at Times list of the 100 greatest books written from 1923-2006. I realized that I had only read ten. I am contemplating setting a goal of reading the other 90 over the next three years.

My Dodgers are in the playoffs. Maybe we can win our first post-season series since 1988!!!

Have a great weekend!

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“And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.”

“When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, ‘Surely he was the Son of God!’”

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The Big Bank Bailout of 2008

Lot’s of people are talking about the bailout the government has proposed.  However with the exception of this article and (for a slightly more scholarly look) this article, few sensible words have been spoken.  The plan proposed by the Bush administration would be acceptable if there was enough oversight built into the proposal.  It would be inappropriate to give unchecked powers to any individual or entity.  There needs to be oversight and accountability.  If this oversight is built into the system then the proposed bailout would probably be successful. (more…)

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“My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

In recent months I have found great comfort in this simple prayer. I have always struggled praying for specific things to happen. I was always troubled when I prayed for healing in someone and would usually instead ask that God wrap his arms around them and carry them through this struggle.

It’s not that I don’t believe God can heal; he can and he does. My struggle is if I pray for healing and it doesn’t happen what example does that give to the people who have witnessed this prayer. It seems that God is not very powerful. I can spend all the time in the world explaining that God is not a vending machine to whom we pray and get our desired result, but that doesn’t heal their wounds. I have been much more comfortable following Jesus example and praying “not as I will, but as you will.”

It seems pretty clear that Jesus did not want to experience crucifixion. He would have rather brought about the means to salvation in some less painful way. But he was willing to put everything on the line and release control over his life for me. I need to be able to release control over my life for Jesus.

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