Archive for July, 2014

Theresa of Avila is one of my favorite teachers. “Let Nothing Disturb Thee” is one of her most valued sayings. I have taken the liberty of paraphrasing her words so they are more understandable from the 15th century.

Let nothing disturb you
Nothing frighten you
All things are temporary
God never changes
Patient endurance gets everything
The one whom God possesses
Needs nothing
God alone is all

A better, more succinct description of spiritual maturity would be hard to find. Do yourself a favor. Memorize this.

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Sometimes we need a little help when we are terribly frightened, extremely I’ll, in shock over some event, in spiritual warfare or such things. Memorized prayers can be very helpful in such instances. I believe this is the intent of the “Lorca.” I do not believe that this type of prayer, historically, was ever intended as an incantation or magic formula. There are times when we cannot even utter a word or think. We need songs, hymns and spiritual songs put deep into our hearts that we can quickly offer up without thinking. Many “loricas” we’re hymns. “Be Thou My Vision”. Is one of my favorite hymns that I have memorized. It encourages us to focus on God alone. Many scriptures were put to music for this very purpose in the first century by the early church. It is good to see the entire historical context of a tradition.

Christianity 201

Just when you think you know everything — no, I’m not being serious — you discover words and phrases that have been heretofore foreign to your Christian experience, and then face the task of deciding whether you are comfortable with incorporating them into your personal theology or Christian worldview.

This week I encountered a blogger who we have featured here before using the term lorica. A quick trip to Wikipedia offered this:

In the Christian monastic tradition, a lorica is a prayer recited for protection. The Latin word lorica originally meant “armor” or “breastplate.” Both meanings come together in the practice of placing verbal inscriptions on the shields or armorial trappings of knights, who might recite them before going into battle.

Notable loricas include Rob tu mo bhoile, a Comdi cride, which in its English translation provides the text for the hymn Be Thou My Vision, the…

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Very insightful, encouraging and helpful. Thank you.

Christianity 201

Phil. 3:10 I want to know Him inside and out. I want to experience the power of His resurrection and join in His suffering, shaped by His death…  (The Voice)

When you write a devotional blog, or keep a devotional journal, inevitably there are times when you look back at past entries and say, “What on earth was that about?”  What obviously made a great deal of sense on the day you wrote it suddenly appears to be random. You know there was a spark that set pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, but now you are lost trying to decipher it.

The Knowledge Effect

You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.  (Job 42:3, NIV)

Job realizes that from day one of his experience, where the discussion…

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One of the ways of experiencing God is through silence. We are not taught very much about this way of interacting with God in evangelical churches but it is scriptural and very historical. Lamentations 3:25, 26 says “The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, To the person who seeks Him. It is good that he waits silently for the salvation of the LORD.” (NAS)

The well-known story of Elijah in the cave after running from Jezabel (1 Kings 19:10- 15) applies very well. “And the word of the Lord came to him: “’What are you doing here, Elijah?’ He replied, ‘I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.’ The Lord said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.’ Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.”

I love the question God puts the frightened prophet. “What are you doing here, Elijah?” It is the question God asked me many years ago. Let me share the story of the start to my journey inward to where Jesus lives.

Well, this isn’t exactly the first time Jesus tried to get in touch with me but that one didn’t take. So I’ll start with this one.

In 1997 I was teaching a course called “Experiencing God” by Henry Blackaby. I confidently explained to the group that we can all get caught up I rules, practices, and legalism in our relationship with God. At this time I would have told anyone that I had a relationship with God. I’ll let you be the judge.
As an example, I said “I could even get legalistic about my prayer book.

Now I’ve had an organized prayer book since I was a teenager. It was divided into categories, color coded, dated and had a section for answered prayer. The next day I couldn’t find my prayer book anywhere. In the middle of the third week I was desperate. No! I mean really, really upset and desperate. I slumped down on the floor of our den sobbing. “Why won’t You show me where my prayer book is, God. Don’t you want me to pray? Please, please help me. I love You, God!”. Then I got very quiet. I didn’t move. I didn’t pray. I didn’t look up a Scripture. I just sat there. Then I heard Jesus say, “Could you just have a cup of coffee with Me?” Yes.” I said “I think I could do that.”

So I got up and fixed two cups of coffee and took them out to the sun room. I sat down. And, for the first time in my life I just sat there enjoying the presence of Jesus. Quietly, without words we sat together.

What was I doing there sobbing in the floor? Elijah didn’t know the answer and neither did I. But we both desired God in the deepest recesses of our hearts. When that happens, God shows up. Not in flashy sound and light shows like wind, earthquakes and fire. No, He comes softly, tenderly and quietly. He’s waiting there now. Won’t you just have a cup of coffee with him?

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